Trygve Skogrand

Reading about it all

As part of my preparations before travelling to Berlin and the Hirschfeld Collection, I am doing some reading. You may say that this project started with the book on the top right, “Gay Berlin” that I discovered in the superp London bookshop “Gay’s The Word” some years ago. Now I am filling up with some more reading. In addition to the Internet, it is always nice to read some books, I think. It is interesting stuff about a very interesting period in both Europe’s and Germany’s history. About how the fight for Queer rights were mixed with the rights for women, for prostitutes, for contraceptives, for transvestites, for general sexual education – to mention some of it. How the comparably lax censure of literature in Germany at the time made it possible. How the optimism with the new German Republic after the war contributed to the growth of queer research, rights – and the growth of a Queer identity. And how Magnus Hirshfeld was in the centre of much that happened.

This is background. It is not what will be my project in the end. For as I think, artistic work is not so much about information and knowledge as it is about empathy, creative and visual work, fantasy and imagination. But it is important to have some knowledge as a foundation. So here I sit, reading.

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